Post count: 93172

    Coaches wife:

    Graves is a very frustrating disease (at least to me) b/c of the complete lack of control that one feels as a result of it. As I believe that many folks who have Graves are, I am a “type A” personality who likes to be in control and ALWAYS doing something. Somewhere along the way, the Graves can turn this person into “a crazy man/woman” who goes 500 miles a minute until the body is just absolutely exhausted and starts to physically fail. If you haven’t read, Graves Disease In Our Own Words, then I really suggest that you get a copy and read it. It will help you to understand what is going on with you body (mentally, physically and emotionally).

    It is very important to know that Graves Disease does not have to control you—you can still be in control of your life. But, you need to take the time to find a coping mechanism that works for you. I sent out a long post a few weeks ago regarding my own “journey” with Graves and finding a way to not only cope, but also to make myself a stronger person because of it. I encourage you to look back and read that post. I believe that I titled it “Coping with Graves Disease”. Maybe you will find something in that post that “speaks” to you.

    As far as RAI vs Surgery, if you opt for RAI, the goiter that you have will most likely shrink. My goiter/gland was more than twice as big as it should have been and I can tell that it is now shrinking (I had RAI in early February of this year). It is not yet back to a “normal” size, but it is getting smaller and I certainly get from my doctors that it will shrink down to basically nothing by the time that it all dies off. I think that it is very important to research both options before you make a decision. There are pros and cons to both procedures, and you will need to decide which one is the right one for you. You can research them both on this website as well.

    The one thing that I would tell you is that you need to be educated on both your disease and your options, because it is vital that the patient is her/his own “advocate” during treatment. Endocrinologists tend to be very “busy” people and it is important to make the most of your time during your visits with good questions and comments. It is also important to recognize your symptoms so that you can accurately communicate them to your doctor, and also so that you can identify them yourself to be able to find a way to cope with them.

    I was diagnosed with Graves in early 2006 (and probably had it for close to a year before I was diagnosed). It is hard to admit that there is something wrong when you just want to “keep working through it”. But, hyperthyroid is not something that is going to go away on its own. You need treatment so that you can regain your health. Unfortunately, the healing process is not a short one. But, identifing the disease, chosing a treatment, and finding your own coping mechanisms are vital for you to move on with your life. Graves changes us forever, but it does not have to define us or rule our lives. I am a much stronger person today (mentally and emotionally) than I was prior to my diagnosis. I have learned to cope and to improve my own character so that I can continue to enjoy life. I am a better person, a better wife, and a better mother as a result of it. It is a long road and some days it seems that the hurdles are insurmountable; but if you dig deep you will find that you have the strength to make good decisions and keep in control of your life.

    Good luck to you.